Trapattoni goes for younger option
Republic of Ireland boss Giovanni Trapattoni has dispensed with the services of his old guard for next month's friendly clash with Serbia.
The 73-year-old Italian has left thirty-somethings Shay Given, Richard Dunne, Damien Duff, Keith Andrews, Stephen Hunt and skipper Robbie Keane out of the 23-man party for the game in Belgrade on August 15.
Trapattoni said: "This friendly offers us a great opportunity to try out younger players ahead of our World Cup qualifying campaign. As a result, I have decided to leave some of our senior players out of the squad for this fixture."
He added: "Serbia are a very good team with a great football heritage, and will provide us with a great test before our game against Kazakhstan in September."
However, their absence does not mean their international careers are over with Trapattoni keen to call upon some, if not all, of them once the World Cup qualifying campaign gets under way in Kazakhstan in September.
In the meantime, he will give some of his younger players - in particular Stoke's Marc Wilson, Everton's Seamus Coleman and Wigan midfielder James McCarthy, who asked not to be considered for the Euro 2012 finals as his father underwent cancer treatment - a chance to prove themselves at senior international level.
Trapattoni had informed his senior men in advance that they would not be involved, but revealed that Wolves defender Kevin Foley, who accused the manager of betrayal after he was deselected from the squad for the Euros during the pre-tournament training camp in Montecatini, had rejected an offer to return, although not necessarily permanently.
McCarthy, one of the men the Ireland boss believes could give his side greater versatility, is likely to start in Belgrade as the Republic attempt to return to the kind of form which took them to Poland and Ukraine, rather than that which they showed while they were there.
Trapattoni said: "I am looking forward to working with each of these players next month. As we prepare for a new journey for this team, it is important that we remember our last campaign as we build for a brighter future."
Ireland will find themselves in a tough group as they attempt to reach the World Cup finals for the first time since 2012, having been controversially denied a trip to South Africa two years ago in a play-off against France. Germany will be the favourites to win Group C, which also includes Sweden, Austria, the Faroe Islands, as well as the Kazakhs.
Related Republic of Ireland News